Impressions: A St. Mary Mi Come From, Capleton’s Gift to Jamaica

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August 20, 2012

Words and Photos by Martei Korleyโ€”

Originally Capleton’s annual A St. Mary Mi Come From concert was scheduled for August 5, the eve before Jamaica’s 50th Independence Day. But that was before Hurricane Allen decided to pass by, and drop wind and water en masse (not to mention rolling power outages) on the entire island. Rumors of an October rain date circulated for a while, but fortunately the 18 of August was chosen instead. Where the original date was a wash-out, this date was definitely tun-up! LargeUp made the journey again and arrived just in time to see Dr. Julius Garvey, son of the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey, who was in the country in celebration of the 125th Birthday of his father. Standing on stage with the Fireman himself, he said: “Big Up to all Rastaman, dem keep the memory of Marcus Garvey alive โ€” Nuff Respect!”

A St. Mary Mi Come From has a more humble set-up technically than many other shows, no frills here: All proceeds from the show are donated to charities benefiting children in St.Mary and around the island, a testimony to the true Rastafari principles of Capleton. This year’s edition was full of surprises with a feelgood flavor not least because another son of St.Mary, Ninjaman, passed through to show how great dancehall still can be. Like any real stage show, it “went from the night straight back til a mawnin.” More artists than can be mentioned here were in attendance, young and old, and the general performance level was very high. When was the last time Ninjaman clash Cocoa Tea??!

Sizzla and Judgement Yard passed through in a big way, reeling off tune after tune for a mesmerized crowd…